A role for heparan sulfate in viral surfing

Myung Jin Oh, Jihan Akhtar, Prashant Desai, Deepak Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Heparan sulfate (HS) moieties on cell surfaces are known to provide attachment sites for many viruses including herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1). Here, we demonstrate that cells respond to HSV-1 infection by enhancing filopodia formation. Filopodia express HS and are subsequently utilized for the transport of HSV-1 virions to cell bodies in a surfing-like phenomenon, which is facilitated by the underlying actin cytoskeleton and is regulated by transient activation of a small Rho GTPase, Cdc42. We also demonstrate that interaction between a highly conserved herpesvirus envelope glycoprotein B (gB) and HS is required for surfing. A HSV-1 mutant that lacks gB fails to surf and quantum dots conjugated with gB demonstrate surfing-like movements. Our data demonstrates a novel use of a common receptor, HS, which could also be exploited by multiple viruses and quite possibly, many additional ligands for transport along the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-181
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Filopodia
  • Glycoprotein
  • Heparan sulfate
  • Herpes simplex virus type-1
  • Transport
  • Viral surfing
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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